Marriage, Michael Blumenthal

A brief post, as this week, our family is traveling to celebrate an important birthday with my wonderful mother. She does so much for our entire family, and it’s a blessing to be with her right now.

This poem, which I’ve loved for years, speaks to me not just about my own marriage, but also that of my parents, who have spent so many years teaching me about the importance of shared burdens and teamwork. I’m lucky they’ve always been honest about both the joy and hard work required in a relationship, and that they have not only discussed it, but also led by example.

Marriage
You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.

But then,
unexpectedly,
something wonderful happens:
Someone,
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arms up
to the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.

2 thoughts on “Marriage, Michael Blumenthal

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